Return to Retro

Once upon a time before I had two beautiful girls I would wear 1950s inspired dresses all the time. The fit and flare silhouette really suits my pear shape figure and so it was pretty easy to make dresses in that style and have them turn out well every time! Who doesn’t love a good swishy skirt?

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Lately I’ve felt the desire to return to my sewing roots and give the mid-century retro look another try. Dresses and skirts from the 1930s to the early 1960s are fantastic and feminine and everything I love in clothes.

So today I’m here to share a new version of the Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt. It’s a favorite of sewing bloggers and I can see why! In fact I saw a vintage pattern that looked exactly like this pattern somewhere on the internet this week, but of course no I can’t think where. The fact that is it drafted for a pear shape is even better.

Edit: YES! I figured it out. I saw it on Tanya’s Instagram feed! It looks exactly like Marian Martin pattern 9488. I was only able to find one blog post with a good write up of the pattern. Looking at the pattern pieces, this is nearly identical to the Hollyburn.

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This version is a straight forward version B with the tabs at the waist and a knee length in a size 16. No alterations at all. I made a couple of these last summer too, but in the shorter length and I don’t like them as much. The longer length suits my life a little better.

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YAY! No sway back adjustment needed!

The fabric is the only fabric I buy at JoAnn’s on a regular basis. It’s their Linen Look in navy. A cotton and rayon blend that wrinkles like crazy, but it easy to work with and particularly easy to wear in our hot hot summers. Plus it is almost always on sale.

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Added bonus, the skirt looks perfect with my t-shirt from Mischief Made Me!* I’ve wanted to wear this shirt ever since I received it, but had no bottoms that coordinated. So happy to be able to wear my mermaids now that the weather is warm!

Now for your bonus mommy daughter matching outfit pictures including this week’s dance pose with Lu.

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I also bought yardage of 7oz 100% cotton dark denim. Trying to decide if I should do another Hollyburn or something different. Sound off if you have an opinion!

 

* I’m related to the owner of Mischief Made Me so she graciously gifted me this shirt. I love it though and would have happily bought it myself if she’d accept my money. This is an XL size and my bust is about 42 inches. Matching kids shirt is here.
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An Instant Favorite

I’ll admit it. When I bought this fabric I bought it because I loved it. I had no idea Lu would latch onto it so firmly. I also had no idea she’d suddenly start asking to wear a skirt every day.

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But this is easily the item of clothing she requests most often. Easily.

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It’s a tad on the large side. Lu is hard to fit in that she is average height, but quite slim, so I made a size 2T with 3T length and cut the elastic to be 2 inches smaller than the pattern recommended. It’s still too big.

But that doesn’t stop Lu from picking it first every single time I do laundry. Sadly she wears uniforms Monday-Thursday, but come free dress Friday… only umbrellas will do.

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I am preschooler and I will wear what I want!

(I also wanted to say that I still cannot tell if the fabric is printed ever so slightly off grain or if I am just exhausted.)

Back to Work!

As I mentioned in the last post I have headed back to work full time. I cannot believe it has been 4 weeks already! I’ve sewn up 3 dresses and 3 skirts so far with plans for a few more as summer comes closer. I’ve share the first already, but here are a few more things I whipped up.

Double gauze is amazing. I bought a dress quantity of Cotton + Steel Bespoke double gauze because I was intrigued by how much people seems to love wearing this fabric. And while it was a bit difficult to sew due to the easily frayed edges and its ability to stretch along the curves, wearing my finished dress is like wearing pajamas to work. Two thumbs up. I picked this up from Westwood Acres which usually only has pre-cuts, but sometimes has yardage available too. It’s a very nice shop to order from as things ship quickly and the prices are very competitive with other small fabric businesses.

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And maybe it isn’t the most flattering dress I’ve ever made, but the Sewaholic Yaletown dress pattern was dead simple to make and the fit of the bodice is easy to fit with the amount of ease built into the pattern. Plus the cross front makes it very easy to breastfeed when I’m home or pump while I’m at work.

It also fit in easily with shoes and sweaters I already owned which is a big plus when you’re having to buy or make an entire new wardrobe. I snapped this picture when I was in the office this last week. Now I’m trying to decide if I have enough time to make a sleeveless spring version in time for Easter next week.

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Next up is a simple dirndl skirt I made with a print from Zoe Ingram for Robert Kaufman in the line Carried Away. It was a total impulse purchase from my local quilt shop and I also have some yardage of the feathers. But honestly I don’t like this skirt and I’ve never worn it aside from these pictures. I think I’ll cut it apart to make summer clothes for one of my daughters. Two yards is plenty for a skirt of dress for littles.

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Lastly I made a skirt using Sewaholic’s Hollyburn Skirt. And I’d like to say a big thank you to Sewaholic for printing patterns made for women with more of a pear shape. I was able to cut one size and have it fit right out of the envelope!

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I ironed this skirt that morning. Probably less than 20 minutes before these photos were taken, but it’s made from linen. Gloriously light and easy to wear but always wrinkled linen. And I have two small children who need lots of help doing everything. It is what it is. I’ve already made two of this pattern, so it’s on the back burner for now, but I’ll pull it back out eventually because it was so great to sew together.

And that is all for now. I’ve continued to sew up a storm so next time I should have at least one quilt to share and more clothing as well.

Thank you for reading along!